The Environmental Factors of Addiction
Adapting and responding to a person’s surroundings is the way people seem to live. In response to this, when we are talking about addiction, we can point out social and environmental factors that can make a person more susceptible to drugs. “Opioid addiction is often described as an ‘equal opportunity’ problem that can afflict people of all races and walks of life…”
When people live in poverty, they have an increased risk of becoming addicted, in part due to a lack of access to quality healthcare in many disadvantaged areas. Information provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services identifies that people who are on Medicaid are more likely to be given prescriptions for opioids, at proportionately higher doses, for longer periods of time. Extensive opioid usage increases the risk of addiction along with its associated consequences.
At the other end of the spectrum, privileged individuals can also be susceptible due to greater financial means to support a drug habit or simply a lack of a meaningful purpose in life.
It is very important for people to know and identify environmental and social stressors
- Home environment—stressful situations and arguments can cause a person to increase their drug use if they are already using drugs. Not only may they increase their dosage, but the use may occur more frequently.
- School and work environments—connecting with people who think that it is natural, normal or correct to use drugs may lead you to become more susceptible to addictions.
- Early use of a substance—trying a substance at a young age can lead to a life of addiction. It can be related to the fact that in the same way that people can be taught anything, it can be hard to unlearn.
- Method of drug use—snorting, injecting and smoking drugs is highly addictive methods of drug usage.
- Connection to the community—your community may influence drug use if there is a high crime and substance abuse rate.